Yachting World - - Practical -

“When I was young, I thought the coolest boat around was Club Mediterranée, the four-masted yacht built for Alain Co­las to sail in the 1976 OSTAR,” says An­drew Bishop.

This ex­traor­di­nar­ily huge yacht, 246ft (75m) over­all, was de­signed by Michel Bigoin so that Co­las could win the fa­mous race from Ply­mouth, but with over 1,000m2 of sails it was a beast to man­age sin­gle-handed.

Club Mediterranée was a mar­vel for its time, with cam­eras to mon­i­tor the masts and a hy­draulic winch sys­tem. It was one of the first boats to fea­ture a com­puter at the nav sta­tion and one of the very ear­li­est to fea­ture push-push-but­ton con­trols from the helm.

“I was re­ally keen on the con­cept of sin­gle­handed sail­ing and a big fan as a teenager, and I had as­pi­ra­tion to fol­low in the foot­steps of these sailors. Then I saw this boat and thought: this is just amaz­ing. How can one per­son sail it?”

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